New recruits expect more annual leave than ever, travel firms warned

New recruits in the industry expect at least 25 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays, travel firms have been rold.

In a webinar on absenteeism and holiday entitlement, a panel of experts said 20 days annual leave was no longer viewed as an acceptable amount of time off by job seekers.

C&M Travel Recruitment managing director Barbara Kolosinska said: “The expectations from candidates have definitely increased from a couple of years ago. Twenty days doesn’t cut it now.”

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Travlaw partner and head of employment Ami Naru said firms had to increase the amount of holiday entitlement to attract new recruits.

She said 22-25 days annual leave was now the “norm”, plus eight days bank holidays, while 20-33 days would give firms a competitive edge.

“If you want to be in a competitive playing field, that’s what you have to be looking at,” she said.

Firms are also increasingly using extra days off as a way to reward staff loyalty, the webinar was told, such as an extra day’s leave after ten years’ service.

“It’s becoming increasingly popular to reward loyalty with extra annual leave,” said Naru.

HR and talent professional Claire Steiner said the move made “fiscal sense” rather than lose staff and have to pay the extra recruitment costs.

“These are the things that companies need to look at doing to make us as employers more attractive,” she said, adding that it was important for firms to look at enhanced such as extra maternity pay or paternity leave to encourage more parents to join businesses.

“As businesses we are struggling with recruitment,” she added.

Steiner also urged more travel firms to consider offering staff paid ‘volunteer’ days and ‘duvet days’.

Duvet days offer staff the chance to take a day off without advance notice when they do not feel up to work but are not ill while volunteer days give employers to plan a day off to do something worthwhile for charity or for the community during working hours, which is supported by your employer.

Steiner argued these extra days’ leave could help companies with absenteeism issues.

“A lot of companies are offering one or two paid days a year to do whatever you want. It seems to work quite well and this is something we need to think about more as an industry,” she said.

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